Vingegaard Wins Stage 5 of CRO Race
Stage 5 of CRO Race 2022 was contested on a 154-kilometer mountainous route from Opatija to Lapin, Croatia. The route included the 16-kilometer category 1 Poklon climb, one category 2 climb, and two category 3 climbs.
With Jonas Vingegaard placed second in the general classification before today’s stage, the Jumbo-Visma team set a fast pace early in the stage, hoping to be able to help Vingegaard use his great climbing skills to take the overall race lead.
The Jumbo-Visma team initiated its decisive attack on the Poklon climb hoping to form a small front group that could stay ahead of the main peloton for the rest of the stage and thereby reduce the number of challengers for the general classification lead.
Teammate Gijs Leemreize took valuable leads at the front of the front group for more than eighty kilometers, thereby helping to preserve Vingegaard’s power reserves for the climb to the finish line in Lapin.
In the final meters Vingegaard managed to push his bike across the finish line ahead of Oscar Onley of Team DSM closely tailed by Matej Mohoric (Bahrain-Victorious).
By winning today’s stage, Vingegaard also took the general classification lead in this year’s CRO Race. Vingegaard now has a eight second lead over Mohoric.
"I think Gijs Leemreize rode at the front for about eighty kilometers. I'm glad I was able to finish it off after his hard work. I started the sprint a little too early, but with a last effort, I managed to cross the finish line first,” Vingegaard explained to Roadcycling.com after the finish. "We were planning to attack on the long climb and we executed it well. The team was super strong, Gijs in particular.”
"Tomorrow will be another hectic and difficult day with plenty of bonus seconds. I am by no means certain of the overall race victory and we will have to be very sharp. However, I am pleased with my form," Vingegaard concluded.